Al-Shabaab in Somalia

Title:                      Al-Shabaab in Somalia

Author:                 Stig Jarle Hansen

Hansen, Stig Jarle (2013). Al-Shabaab in Somalia: The History and Ideology of a Militant lslamist Group, 2005-2012. New York: Oxford University Press

LCCN:    2012049898

DT407.4 .H36 2013


  • Introduction — Setting the stage: the resurgence of religion in Somalia — Origins — The first expansive phase 2005/2006, in the shadow of the courts — Phoenix from the ashes, insurgency (2007/08) — The golden age of Shabaab (2009/10) — The era of troubles (2010-) — Lose some, win some — Conclusions.


Date Posted:      October 14, 2015

Reviewed by Joseph Sinai[1]

This is a comprehensive and detailed examination ofal Shabaab, the preeminent terrorist organization in Somalia. The author, a Norwegian academic who has conducted extensive field work in Somalia, discusses how al Shabaab began as an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union and became an al Qaida affiliate. Al Shabaab’s organizational success, the author writes, is due to its close links to local clan structures, Somali clans in Kenya; and diaspora Somali clans in Europe and America, from whom it recruits its “foreign fighters,” The book would have benefited from a chapter on the counter-measures by the Somali government (however weak) against it, as well as the measures by Western governments to monitor the activities of diaspora Somalis who travel to Somalia to fight for al Shabaab.

[1] Sinai, Joseph C. in The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies (20, 1, Spring/Summer 2013, p. 106). Joseph Sinai, Ph.D. Dr. Joshua Sinai is a Washing~ ton-based educator and consultant on terrorism and counterterrorism studies. He can be reached at:

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One Response to Al-Shabaab in Somalia

  1. Pingback: Fountainhead of Jihad | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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